Newsletter – February 17, 2021
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Grief and gratitude, Black & Asian solidarity, plus a survey
In this new year of the Ox, in the middle of Black History and Futures Month, I’m sitting with grief and gratitude. Grief, because there’s been a surge of anti-Asian violence and the videos are playing on repeat in my head. Grief, because it is horrifying but unsurprising—many of us live with the looming threat of violence every day. I’m saddened by some of the divisive conversations surrounding these incidents, which illuminate white supremacy’s role in setting up and stoking the flames of tensions between Black and Asian American communities. Gratitude, because of the incredible cross-racial organizing around community-based interventions, particularly in (but not limited to) the Bay Area, where I live, and the enduring inspiration Black freedom movements provide when it comes to multi-racial solidarity. I am proud to be in community with people who call out and resist anti-Asian violence while being decisively pro-Black. I’m grateful that this is part of a growing legacy of Black/Asian solidarity, care, and joy. I’m grateful for Black art and Black leadership, including right here at The Management Center.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what this means for us, as staff, managers, and leaders. Yes, you might want to check in on your Asian colleagues and staff (and know that they may not want to talk to you about it). Yes, you probably should acknowledge what is happening, particularly because of the limited mainstream news coverage. Yes, you might want to bone up on Asian American history because this news is not new.
And beyond that, I wonder how organizations—particularly multi-racial organizations like TMC—can work for racial justice and hold the complexities of working on racially diverse teams. I wonder how BIPOC leaders and managers can be in solidarity with each other, knowing that white supremacy pits us against each other and creates an overpowering feeling of scarcity, including in the workplace. There’s no template for this.
When it comes to racial equity, we’re past the point of easy answers. Instead, here are some questions for all managers and leaders to consider:
- How can I hold space for my Asian American colleagues (and/or myself) right now?
- What are the dynamics and conditions that contribute to anti-Asian racism and violence? How do they show up in my organization? How can I disrupt them?
- What are the implicit biases or stereotypes I have about Asian people or specific groups of Asian people?
- How do my beliefs about Asian people differ from or align with my beliefs about other people of color, particularly Black people? How might those beliefs reinforce anti-Blackness in my organization? How can I/we guard against and disrupt that?
- What can I and/or my team do to explore and unpack the different experiences of people under the “BIPOC” umbrella? What do we need to do to get ready for conversations like this?
- How am I working to build deep trust among BIPOC within my organization? How am I making space for BIPOC staff and leaders to build authentic relationships and create new narratives outside of the confines of whiteness and white supremacy?
To be honest, this is not the newsletter I set out to write. I wrestled deeply with taking up this space, on this month of all months. But there is no refuge in silence. The path to racial justice requires our collective care, a willingness to sit with multiple truths, and the belief that there is enough space for all of us.
For ease of reference, here’s a compilation of all the resources linked above:
- Black Futures: An Ode to Freedom Summer
- On Anti-Asian Hate Crimes: Who Is Our Real Enemy?
- Open Letter to Community: Asian American Solidarity & #WeKeepUsSafe
- The First Rainbow Coalition
- Oakland Mayor Blames Crime Wave Against Asians on Defunded Police; Black and Asian Activists Disagree
- Some Pastoral Thoughts for Asian Americans about Elder Violence
- Janaya Future Khan in conversation with Hollis Wong-Wear
- Do Better
- Londrelle – Gratitude
- Black Art: In the Absence of Light
- Black & Bold: Perspectives on Leadership
Survey: Tell us what you need in 2021!
We have some exciting new training and content ideas on deck—and we’re inviting you to help shape them! What topics do you want us to focus on? What aspects of hiring and onboarding do you want more help with? Do you want TMC tips and reminders on your social media feed, too?
The TMC Content Team would love your input. Take this 4-minute survey to help us create concrete, helpful, and timely resources that help you thrive as a manager:
Coming Soon! Equitable Hiring Workshop
Do you want to take your hiring skills to the next level? Well, heads up! TMC is creating a new half-day workshop all about Equitable Hiring. It will be hands-on and in-depth, so gather your half-baked role descriptions and get ready to make meaningful progress on a talent- and equity-focused hiring process. Stay tuned for registration details next month and workshops in April-May 2021. In the meantime, use this month’s survey to tell us what hiring resources will help you most.
Interested in our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color) cohorts? Apply now for Werking the Work, 101 Edition, a space to discuss and offer support around the challenges of being a BIPOC staff member in progressive and social justice organizations, and to share practices that help BIPOC staff thrive. This course takes place on March 23-24 from 11:00am-5:00pm EDT.
On March 24-25 from 10:00am-1:00pm PDT, we’re offering Working for Change, Online 2-Part Training for non-managers who want to take our traditional one-day Crash Course, but in a new format online.
And if you’re a manager looking for our full two-day Crash Course (6 hours each day), register for Managing to Change the World, Online 2-Day Series. We have openings now for sessions in April, May, and June. Don’t forget to check the time zone when you register!
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